What Is Swine Flu?
Swine flu is also known as the H1N1 virus is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by Type A influenza viruses that cause regular outbreaks in pigs. It originated in pigs but spread from person to person.
Swine flu was first diagnosed in 2009 in humans and became a pandemic. Swine flu started spreading throughout the world and on multiple continents at the same time and was a contagious disease.
There are different categories and sub-categories involved in swine flu. The major swine flu categories observed are:
- Patients who are having mild fever plus a cough with or without diarrhea will be categorized as Category-1
- If the patient is having high-grade fever and severe throat in addition to the signs in category one, he will be categorized as Category-2
- In addition to the signs mentioned above if the patient is suffering from breathlessness, chest pain, fall of blood pressure, worsening of chronic conditions then he/she will fall under Category-3.
SYMPTOMS OF SWINE FLU
Any disease or illness is made up of signs and symptoms. A symptom is what a patient feels about his body changes or pain and describes that to the doctor.
A sign is what the doctor detects from the patient’s behavior and the symptoms he examines in the patient’s body.
For example, you may describe some stomach ache to doctor. But the doctor on examining the tenderness in your stomach may ask you to take some tests on appendicitis.
The symptoms of swine flu are same as that of winter flu, or we can say influenza flu and these symptoms can start to come up within two to three days of infection.
Typical Symptoms of Swine Flu:
- Fever (100 degrees or above)
- Nasal Secretions
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal Pain
- Watery red eyes
Some of the patients may also get a sore throat, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fatigue is reported maximum in the most infected patients.
It is not that a patient has to suffer all of the above symptoms to be diagnosed positive for swine flu. Some patients may suffer from all of the above symptoms, and some may suffer from milder forms.
Incubation Period and Reporting of Symptoms:
The incubation period from the exposure to the infection to the discovery of the first symptom is about one to four days.
These symptoms last on an average of one to two weeks and in the worst case may last even longer than that.
Apart from the typical symptoms, check for the below-mentioned infections for the successful diagnosis of swine flu.
Upper respiratory tract infection:
Since most of the symptoms affect the throat and nose region, it can cause a childhood illness known as URTI(Upper Respiratory Tract Infection).
Patients may develop severe respiratory problems. They may also need some respiratory support like ventilator support to breathe.
Some patients may also get a secondary bacterial infection such as pneumonia or whooping cough, if the viral infection is persisting for a long duration of time. Some can develop seizures also.
Death in most cases occurs due to secondary viral infection along with swine flu that affects the lungs badly.
Swine flu symptoms for children
- Fast breathing or trouble in breathing
- The skin color will change to bluish or gray
- Persistent vomiting can be observed
- Flu like symptoms
- Child may get restless and will be difficult to held
Signs of swine flu
- The patient is observed to have a swollen or reddened mouth, throat, and nose
- The patient is detected to have a raised body temperature of over 37 degrees Celsius.
- There may be some fleeting red rash. You must have mistaken it for measles.
- If the patient has pneumonia in the worst case, then the doctor may hear abnormal breathing when he listens to the chest with his stethoscope.
Progress of Illness
- At first, the patient may feel dizzy and on- specifically unwell.
- High fever gets followed after dizziness
- This gets accompanied with throat, coughing, red nose and sneezing.
- If the patient develops diarrhea and vomiting, then this must be considered as a serious issue at this point in time
- A prominent symptom in some cases can be abdominal pain.
Don’t wait for the patient to get too serious, call the doctor right away.